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Book Review
Tasting the Seasons
By
Nov 18, 2014 - 9:44:54 AM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Natural foods and cooking expert Kerry Dunnington has just released Tasting the Seasons, a unique and carefully designed, cookbook which focuses specifically on how to identify, select, and prepare foods using ecologically sound principles. Dunnington is a Baltimore food columnist, culinary consultant and caterer who specializes in making "eco-friendly and healthy" food that is fun to prepare, enjoyable to eat, and entertaining to share.

 

 

Tasting the Seasons includes an impressive variety of fast and fresh, irresistible, user-friendly recipes, family-oriented one-dish wonders, updated classics, and creative gourmet entrees. Each and every one of the more than 250 superbly seasoned, beautifully presented and eco-friendly meals was selected to serve as the center of any occasion, from an intimate family dinner to a large holiday celebration. Get ready to have your taste buds rewarded with remarkable style and grace.

 

Here's a sample:

 

Soba Shrimp Salad

 

 

 

 

With an abundance of color, flavor and texture, this cold, main-dish salad receives rave reviews

every time I serve it. There are several variations of soba noodles, I use Eden Foods Wild Yam

Soba.

 

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1½ cups extra virgin olive oil

2 packages (8.8 ounces each) soba noodles, broken in half

1½ pounds steamed jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup yellow pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 cup orange pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered

½ cup pitted, roughly chopped Kalamata olives

½ cup sliced green onions

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

 

In a 3-4 cup jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine salt, pepper, mustard and apple cider vinegar.

Cover and shake mixture vigorously. Add olive oil, cover and shake until ingredients are

incorporated. Keep dressing at room temperature until ready to use. Cook noodles according to

package directions. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, peas, yellow

pepper, orange pepper, artichoke hearts, olives and green onions. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients. Toss noodles with the remaining dressing or just enough to evenly coat the pasta. Transfer the noodles to a large shallow serving bowl and toss them with the shrimp and vegetables. Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and cherry tomatoes. Serve immediately.

 

10 to 12 servings

 

Lemon Butter Brussels Sprouts, Sauerkraut-Style

 

 

 

The first memory I have of Brussels sprouts appearing on a dinner plate was when I was in my

late teens. My mother introduced them around Thanksgiving time and served them alongside

stuffed pork chops and sweet potatoes. Not only was the combination seasonal and colorful, the Brussels sprouts were cooked and seasoned to perfection. Many years later, I thought about how clever my mother was to wait until her brood of five was mature enough to fully appreciate this sophisticated little vegetable.

 

1½ pounds Brussels sprouts (about 2 dozen)

½ cup (1 stick) butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

A few grindings of freshly ground black pepper

 

To prepare Brussels sprouts, remove stem, cut in half lengthwise and thinly slice each half

widthwise. In a large pan, melt butter over moderate heat, add Brussels sprouts and salt and stir to evenly coat shredded sprouts with butter. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon zest and juice, stir, cover and cook an additional 2-5 minutes or until tender. Season the Brussels sprouts with pepper. Serve immediately.

 

8 servings

 

Marinated Potatoes

 

 

 

My mother has been serving this potato dish since she and my father first ate it at a picnic with

friends in the summer of 1945. The picnic was in honor of their return from the war. It was a

potluck event, and one of the women brought this potato dish, announcing it wasn't at all like

traditional potato salad because it only had a tablespoon of mayonnaise. (Mayonnaise was being rationed at the time.) Everyone loved it and no one missed the traditional potato salad laden with mayonnaise.

 

½ cup canola oil

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

6 medium potatoes, unpeeled (peel if you prefer), quartered

1½ cups quartered and thinly sliced onion

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

 

In a 1-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Shake

contents until well combined. Allow marinade to stand at room temperature for several hours.

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Allow the potatoes

to cool. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice. In the dish you will be serving the potato

salad, layer the potatoes and the onions alternately. Shake marinade and pour evenly over the

potatoes and onions. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Just before serving,

toss the potatoes with the mayonnaise. Season with additional salt if necessary.

 

6 servings

 

Cheese Tortellini Chowder

 

 

 

Taste-testers ranked this as one of the best chowders they had ever eaten. This chowder gets

thicker with time; you may need to add more chicken broth.

 

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup sliced celery

½ cup chopped red pepper

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cup corn

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine

1 cup water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

⅛ cup cooking sherry

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup heavy cream

10 ounces tri-color cheese tortellini

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

 

Melt butter in a large pot over moderate heat and sauté onions, celery, red pepper, carrots

and corn. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour (it will grab the vegetables

very quickly) and slowly add chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add white wine, water and

vegetable cube and stir until cube dissolves. Add sherry, salt, pepper, cream, tortellini and parsley and stir to combine. Simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

 

6 servings

 

Cheese Curry Pâté with Plum Sauce

 

 

 

This is a mouth-watering combination that always receives rave reviews, even from those who

originally said they didn't like curry. For you curry fans out there, this dish is heaven. The flavors

in this creation are bold, so it's best to serve with a neutral-flavored cracker. I use McCutcheon's Damson Plum Preserves in this recipe. This recipe yields enough sauce for two to three cheese curry pâtés (depending on the sauce to pâté ratio you prefer) and will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

 

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons cooking sherry

1 teaspoon curry powder

1½ cups plum preserves

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon powdered ginger

thinly sliced green onion (garnish)

 

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, sherry and curry powder.

Mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a serving platter and form mixture into a round

shape about 6-inches in diameter. (If you're preparing pâté ahead of time, cover and refrigerate

until 30 minutes prior to serving.) In a medium saucepan, combine plum preserves, apple

cider vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Stir mixture until well blended.

Bring to a gentle boil, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool before transferring to a

container. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. Just before serving, top pâté with plum

sauce and garnish with green onions.

 

About 25 servings

 

 

With Tasting the Seasons, Kerry Dunnington has dipped into her own family's deep culinary files and shares a wide variety of dishes that focus on making use of fresh, locally available fruits, vegetables, herbs and other foodstuffs. The soups are to die for and the selections--from spinach, tomato and rice pie to carrot and leek gratin to mushroom and barley soup, and more - all emphasize that it is easy to make dishes quick, all natural, and delicious.

 

 

Tasting the Seasons:

Inspired In-Season Cuisine That's Easy, Healthy, Fresh and Fun

Kerry Dunnington

 

Price: $19.95

ISBN: 978-0-9904185-0-4

250 Recipes with savory commentary encouraging sustainable living

312 pages, 7 x 10, trade paperback original

Index, Product Resource List, Eco-Terms- Eco-Tips, Eco-Techniques, Line Illustrations

Artichoke Publishers Official Publication Date September 8, 2014

 

Available nationwide US and Canada in bookstores, libraries and online.

 

Tasting the Seasons is infused with Kerry Dunnington's highly evolved environmental outlook on food. Her refined and well-cultivated tastes are demonstrated by her recipe selection of crowd-pleasing appetizers, novel breakfast and brunch menus in which fresh fruit and vegetables often take center stage, and a variety of soups. Chapters include appetizers, enhancers, breakfast and lunch, hearty soups, lighter than hearty soups, Pescatarian main dishes, meat, chicken and pork dishes, vegetarian cold and warm garden greenery dishes, breads, biscuits, rolls and sweet endings. The book also includes a product resources list, tips and how-to's for entertaining, a special chapter on how to identify, select, and prepare foods along ecologically sound principles, along with a glossary of eco-terms, tips, and techniques and even a 365 day challenge to help you improve what you do to help save the planet.

 

Recipes are coupled with Kerry's ideas and strategies for successful entertaining. Her book contains a wealth of up-to-date information about following food seasons; incorporating fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced food into balanced and appealing menus in ways that protect the environment.

 

Tasting the Seasons is designed to make cooking and entertaining at home easy, healthy, educational, and fun.

 

About the Author

 

 

Kerry Dunnington has operated a Baltimore catering business for more than 30 years.

 

Her first book, This Book Cooks, was published in 2004. She has served on the board of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) and served on the AIWF Chef's Council. Kerry is founder of Slow Food Baltimore's Eat in Season Challenge. Kerry has written numerous food columns and articles for numerous magazines and newspapers including Hotel Food & Beverage ExecutiveUrbaniteSmart Woman, and Baltimore Eats. "Cooking with Kerry Dunnington" ran for nearly three consecutive years in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco editions of The Examiner newspaper. Kerry currently writes a monthly food column, What's In Season for Slow Food Baltimore.  A new edition of This Book Cooks will be available in 2015.

 

She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

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